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Afghanistan's winning the World Cricket League Division Three title in Argentina may have sparked euphoria throughout the country but the team are reported to be less than impressed by the reception on their arrival in Kabul. “We were very disappointed that there was no cabinet minister, vice president or president to welcome us home following our extraordinary achievement,” batsman Raees Ahmadzai told BBC. "It shows that they don't like cricket or our team. But we couldn't believe it when we saw people dancing and cheering in the cold weather.''
Another team member absolved President Hamid Karzai - "a big supporter" - of any blame but said ministers should have been present. "This is a big achievement for Afghanistan. But our victory and team belongs to the Afghan people not to ministers.''
A cabinet minister contacted by the BBC said what happened was "regrettable" and that official engagements had prevented them from attending.
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
© ESPN EMEA Ltd.
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.